A few weeks ago, when we were looking at which cars were leading their segments in Europe in 2016, one of our readers wondered how the market as a whole has evolved over the past decades: which segments have grown and which have decreased and what trends are visible in the market? As it turns out, the total market volume in 2016 is actually very comparable to that of 2001, as the European car market had a size of just over 15 million sales both last year and 15 years ago. Of course, in the meantime there have been great fluctuations, as the market peaked at over 16 million in 2004 and then crashed to just 12,3 million in 2013, and also between the segments there have been shifts in the period between then and now. But overall there’s a clear trend visible: mainstream brands have stagnated while luxury brands have floundered, MPVs made a brief successful run in the first half of the 2000’s, but since then it’s been all about crossovers and SUVs, while regular cars have been down across the board. So let’s take a more in-depth look at the trends we can see happening for the past 15 years.
EV and PHEV sales in Europe have set another record in 2016, but the growth curve has significantly slowed, with just a 7% gain for battery electric cars and 17% for Plug-in hybrid cars, compared to an overall market up 6,2%. As a result, combined sales of all plug-in vehicles grew from 1,4% of the market in 2015 to 1,5% in 2016. While we hit the 100.000 annual sales milestone for PHEVs, EVs missed that target by just 2.500 units, as customers were waiting for the “next generation” EVs with longer range which arrived late 2016 (BMW i3) or early 2017 (Renault Zoe, VW e-Golf). Also, a number of governments, most notably Denmark and Sweden, have dialed back on their EV incentives in 2016 while Germany’s new EV and PHEV subsidy hasn’t made a big impact yet. In The Netherlands, an incentive on PHEV’s as company cars was cut in 2017 so that boosted deliveries of these vehicles in the last few months as customers wanted to benefit from the incentives before they ended. As a result, 2017 PHEV sales are expected to crash and burn in The Netherlands while EVs are expected to show healthy growth there because this will be the only type of vehicle to receive government incentives.
2016 is set to once again break a new record for both EV and PHEV sales in Europe, but mostly thanks to Plug-in hybrid cars. Sales of battery electric cars increased just 7% in the first three quarters of the year to 70.654 units, after improving by almost 50% in both 2015 and 2014. This means we’ll probably have to wait until 2017 to reach 100.000 annual EV sales in Europe, because a number of governments, most notably Denmark and Sweden, have dialed back on their EV incentives in 2016. Sales of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles are also slowing down their growth curve, but still improved by 45% and look set top 100.000 sales this year already. Total sales of plug-in vehicles are up 24% to 151.912, or 1,3% of the overall market, compared to 1,1% in the first nine months of 2015.
Another year, another record in sales for both the EV segment and the PHEV segment in Europe. Sales of battery electric cars increased 47% in 2015 to 91.326 units, after already improving by 50% in 2014. This means that it is very likely that more than 100.000 EVs will be sold in Europe this year, even though a number of governments, most notably Denmark and Sweden, have dialed back on their EV incentives in 2016. Sales of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles got an even bigger boost last year, as they surged 177% to 97.985 units as no less than five new entrants were launched and existing models continued to improve. Only three EV models out of 17 showed sales decrease, and only two out of 15 PHEV models, while the majority showed double, triple or even quadruple digit volume gains.
Total 2015 sales of electrified vehicles were a record 189.161, up 94% from a year earlier, and they now comprise 1,3% of the European passenger car market. For 2016, the aim is around 250.000 sales or just above.
Photo credit: Danzei.de
European sales of EV and PHEV continue their explosive growth rate, at +54% for full electric cars and +106% for Plug-in Hybrid electric cars. Both subsegments have already surpassed their 2014 total sales in less than nine months. As ever more brands rush to enter these fast growing segments, even the existing models keep attracting a larger customer base. Of the 18 electric cars in the ranking, only 5 show a decline in sales, and only 3 of the 13 PHEVs face a similar fate.
As we go, we’re on track to sell about 80.000 full electric cars and a similar number of plug-in electric vehicles in Europe this year, which naturally both would be all-time records. This would also mean that the percentage of cars sold with a plug would surpass the 1% mark of total European car sales. Still a trickle, but no less a milestone and an indicator of things to come. [Read more…]
Sales of EV and PHEV keep booming in Europe, up 56% for electric cars and up 106% for Plug-In Hybrids. This is helped not only by new model introductions, but also continued improvement of existing models, as the awareness of electric mobility grows. The perennial leader of the EV segment Nissan Leaf is now under heavy threat from the Renault Zoe, which outsold the Leaf every month in Q2. If their current streak continues, the Zoe will become the best selling EV in Europe as soon as next month. The Zoe has benefited from Renault’s decision to no longer offer the model with battery lease only, and should also get a boost from an optional longer range electric engine, which increases the subcompact EV’s range from 210km to 240km, similar to that of the Nissan Leaf.
The Tesla Model S keeps improving as well, and is on track to sell more than 10.000 units in Europe this year, an amazing performance of an EV in this price range. However, the Model S may not finish the year on the EV podium, as the Volkswagen e-Golf is winning a lot of popularity as well. Just 2% of all Golfs sold in Europe are equipped with an electric motor, but that still adds up to more than 5.600 sales for the e-Golf. [Read more…]
The EV and PHEV segments are still the fastest growing in Europe, and the growth rate is even accelerating with sales of full electric cars up 64% and of Plug-in Hybrid cars up 150% on the first quarter of last year. Besides improving sales of most existing electrified vehicles, this is mostly a result of the introduction of new vehicles to these segments.
The Nissan Leaf is still the leader of the 100% electric cars, and the first EV ever to sell over 5.000 units in a quarter in Europe. The much more expensive Tesla Model S reclaims the second place it held in Q1 of 2014 before dropping to third in the full year 2014. The Model S had a blockbuster month in March, when it sold a record 2.363 units, and is likely to fall back into fourth place in the next few months, perhaps even as soon as April. The best selling EV newcomer is the Volkswagen e-Golf with over 3.000 sales, or just 2,4% of all Golf sales in Europe. The Golf outsells the Renault Zoe, which continues its strong monthly volume, which has greatly improved since last September for reasons discussed earlier. [Read more…]
The shift from mainstream to premium is best visible in the coupe segments, where sales of coupe models from mainstream brands have dropped by almost one fourth last year, while sales of premium brands have increased by a third to become more than twice as big a segment.
All models in the mainstream coupe segment lost volume in 2014, as the ranking has remained virtually the same as last year. The Opel/Vauxhall Astra GTC still leads ahead of the Renault Megane Coupe and the Volkswagen Scirocco, all three with sales down less than the overall segment.
The Peugeot RCZ holds on to its fourth place, as its nearest competitors all lose more than half of their volumes, with the Hyundai Veloster taking the hardest hit and being overtaken by the Renault Laguna Coupe. The Nissan 370Z fares the least bad of all coupes, with sales down just 3% or 14 units despite its age. The 370Z is now not too far behind the Subaru BRZ anymore, its closest Japanese rear-wheel drive competitor. [Read more…]
Sales of convertible cars have slowed their decline in 2014, but the segment still has reached a record low for the continent. An easy explanation for this is the crisis that has hit many European manufacturers hard, so they can no longer afford to spend a lot of development and marketing Euros on slow selling models, even if they could work as image-builders for the brand. Faced with the decision whether to develop a low-volume cabriolet or a potential high-volume crossover, most of the mainstream manufacturers have opted for the latter.
It doesn’t help that droptop models don’t sell outside of Europe and the US, which means that the market remains limited to just Europe in the case of the French brands, who used to make some of the most popular cabriolets on the market with the Peugeot 207CC and 307CC / 308CC or Renault Megane CC. As these models are being phased out without any word on a ragtop version of their successors, sales of convertibles in France are down the harshest of all markets.
The Fiat 500C continues to lead the segment, although it’s technically not a 100% cabriolet, because its B-pillar and C-pillar remain intact as its roof is basically not much more than a large sliding canvas sunroof, a similar system as the DS3 Cabrio. [Read more…]
Sales of zero emission vehicles keep growing fast in Europe, the EV segment has grown another 50% in 2014, to over 60.000 vehicles, as the top-3 has continued to add sales and a flock of new products hit the market last year.
The traditional leader Nissan Leaf has become the first EV to hit 15.000 annual sales in Europe, adding up to over 33.000 cumulative sales for the model. However, the Renault Zoe has outsold the Leaf in each of the last three months of the year with over 5.000 sales in the last quarter alone. The Zoe has become the second electric car to sell over 10.000 units in Europe in a single year and since demand is no longer limited to customers who don’t mind renting the battery separately, there may be a new best selling EV in 2015. [Read more…]